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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mexico - Day 7 - Batopilas

Having arrived and taken a hot shower I was ready to hit the town. This consisted of walking out my door, across the central courtyard of the hotel, turning right on the street and walking two blocks. The town is very small.

I immediately got lucky and met a couple of other travelers, Anna and Carlos, from Madrid. They were traveling with a guide, Noel, who drove them down from Creel. They were leaving for dinner and invited me to join them. We walked a couple of blocks to Resturante Carolina. A tiny place where we were the only patrons. However, the trout we ate was obviously swimming in the river that morning and was quite tasty. They politely tolerated my Spanish and corrected my pronunciation when it implied another word that didn't fit. There was a lot of smiles and laughter.

This is the place I was hoping to find when I first started planning on visiting Mexico and the Copper Canyons. If not for the modern Chevy pickups it would be easy to imagine that I was transported 100 years into the past. I stayed for a couple of days to soak it all in. Batopilas is an old mining town in the bottom of the canyon at the edge of the river. 

Town Plaza with Gazebo
Church across from plaza
In the morning we all went out for breakfast and then Anna and Carlos went for a hike while I walked around town and poked into things without any plan.

Women washing clothes on the rocks in the river
I ran into Noel later and he pointed me towards the abandoned mines.

I never found the mines but I did find an empty house that I was thinking would make a nice winter home.

I walked back to town along a canal built to supply water to the town when the mine was in operation.

I met these teenage boys who started to tease me a bit until I whipped out my Fuji instant camera and took their pictures. Immediately I was their best friend and welcome to hang out with them any time. This camera is the best ice breaker in the world and I've used it often in my travels.

After a siesta I rode the bike, with no luggage, to the next town of Satevo. I had a blast sliding the rear around the corners on this class 2 road. Keeping in mind that a trip over the edge of this one lane road might be fatal ...

I ran into Anna, Carlos, and Noel at the church in Satevo and we explored the interior.

It looked as if it were little used any more.

The bell tower was a temptation not to be passed up although the ladders to the top were pretty shaky. The upper one merely rested on a ledge with nothing to hold it. I trusted that today was not the day God would be calling me.

While the others went back I wanted to explore a bit more and continued down the road to see where it led. 

It wasn't long before I found out. I would have to cross the river if I wanted to continue. Either ride it across the foot bridge or take it swimming. I decided against both.

It was with a certain melancholy that I realized that I had arrived at the apex of my trip. This is as far as I was going, everything from here on out would be heading away from Mexico. I had a long way to go but now I was heading home to Connecticut.

At least I was leaving on high note. Sunday night at the plaza was a treat. Women were selling homemade food from tables around the edge while music played from the gazebo. This was small town Mexico at its best. Couples walked around chatting with families who sat with their babes in arms. Children were running around like children will, shouting and playing with energy I could only envy. 

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